Do I have a Transient Apartment or Non-transient Apartment?
Non-Transient: Most Apartments in Florida fall under this category. It is a public lodging establishment which is rented to guests for periods of at least 30 days or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests for periods of at least 30 days or 1 calendar month. Most often the intention is that the dwelling unit occupied is the sole residence of the guest. Only buildings or complexes renting five or more units require a Non-transient apartment license from the division.
Transient: Transient public lodging establishments are rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests. Most often the presumption is that the dwelling unit occupied is not the sole residence of the guest, the occupancy is transient. Any building or complex renting one or more units requires a Transient apartment license from the division.
Apartment License – Apply Online
For detailed definitions of Transient & Non-transient public lodging establishments see Florida Statute 509.013
Steps to getting an Apartment License
The Division of Hotels and Restaurants offers two methods to apply for an Apartment license:
- Online: The online account page is DBPR Online Services. To create an account see Create an Account. Applying online is the fastest way to obtain a license.
- Mail: Applications are available at Applications. Mail a completed application with the correct fee. The Balcony Certification form, if applicable, is available in Word or PDF at Lodging Forms.
Common issues that may delay the application process:
- On a new license – Not including the number of rental units (in section 1 of the paper application). License fees are partly based on the number of units; if the number is incorrect or missing the fees are likely to be wrong. If the application is for a change of ownership we’ll use the previous number of units if none are noted.
- On a change of ownership – Not including the previous license number (in section 2 of the paper application). Please verify the previous license number and include it on the application.
- On a change of ownership – Providing a location address that does not match the previous license location. We cannot process a change of ownership if the location address does not match. Please verify the previous license location address including suite or unit number.
- On any application – Payment is incorrect or no payment is submitted with the application. Please review the fees section below. Call 850-487-1395 if you have questions about how to calculate the fee.
Verify the license number and location address of any DBPR license on our website here.
Buildings of Three Stories or More – Mandatory Requirement
Each apartment building 3 or more stories must file a Certificate of Balcony Inspection with the division every three years.
Lodging License fees can be determined by visiting our fee calculator form.
Human Trafficking Awareness
In 2019 section 509.096 was added to Chapter 509, Florida Statutes. This section requires all public lodging establishments to provide annual training on human trafficking awareness to employees of the establishment who perform housekeeping duties in the rental units or who work at the front desk or reception area where guests check in or check out. The training must be provided for new employees within 60 days after they begin employment in a housekeeping or reception area role, or by January 1, 2021, whichever occurs later. For more information please visit our Human Trafficking Awareness page.
The division records readily observable fire safety items during inspections. The division reports any item that may violate fire safety requirements to the State Fire Marshal and to local fire safety authorities. Please contact them to ensure your establishment meets fire safety requirements.
General guidelines are:
- Install smoke detectors in every living unit.
- For Transient establishments – Have at least one hearing impaired smoke alarm available for every 50 rooms or units up to a maximum requirement of 5.
- All units must comply with the requirements of NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code.
- Boiler safety inspection guidelines, certification requirements, and owner/operator responsibilities can be found on the State Fire Marshal’s Boiler Safety webpage.
- Have accessible fire extinguishers.
All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Steven von Bodungen, Director
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011